Massachusetts Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) announced yesterday that she will not seek re-election to a seventh term next November. Ms. Tsongas, widow of the late Massachusetts Senator and presidential candidate Paul Tsongas, won a 2007 special election when then-Rep. Martin Meehan (D-Lowell) resigned to become a university chancellor. The 3rd District encompasses the Representative’s hometown of Lowell and the communities of Haverhill, Lawrence, and Andover in the eastern part of the CD, before stretching south down I-495 as far as Marlborough, and then west through Gardner and Westminster.
The electorate is generally Democratic, but has strayed toward Republicans in certain statewide races such as Governor. To win statewide, Republicans such as Gov. Charlie Baker must carry the 3rd District. Even in defeat, then-Sen. Scott Brown (R) won here against Elizabeth Warren (D), even though he lost the state. Therefore, we can expect a competitive open race in the fall of 2018, including a late September primary schedule. Rep. Tsongas’ retirement decision means there will be at least 20 regular cycle open seats, eight of which Democrats currently represent.
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